It seems fitting that I begin our February theme with the thing I probably love most about writing. The beginning. The creative spark. A spark that in the beginning, I just know will make a good book.
Each time I come up with a book idea, it’s a thrill. I want to begin work on it now, today, this minute. Usually I can’t because I’m already working on another book that began as a spark months or years ago.
And sometimes it’s best to let an idea sit for a while.
Because some ideas need to time to ripen. They get better given more time to grow. Other ideas should be left to shrivel away and be relegated to the compost pile because they were rotten from the start. But when I first get an idea I am so excited about it, that it can be hard to see that the idea isn’t necessarily viable.
To test an idea, I tell my husband, a friend, a crit partner. Their feedback helps me hone and shape that initial spark. It gives me direction. I start a folder for the book idea and fill it with scraps of paper I scribble on in the car, in a waiting room, while watching TV, in the middle of the night.
I carve out a block of time when I can get to that idea. I am full of energy, eager to start. My great idea is just waiting there in its file. Waiting to fulfill the promise of the book that’s shaping up in my head. Waiting to blossom on the page. And one day, at last, it’s finally time to start.
~ Joan Holub